Rod W. Bare

Rod Bare is a defined contribution consultant for Russell Investments. Rod serves as a consultant to several defined contribution plans, providing advice on plan structure, fund selection, target-date best practices and custom glide path construction. He joined Russell in 2010.

Prior to joining Russell, Rod spent six years at Morningstar where he was most recently director, asset allocation strategies responsible for asset allocation index product and business development. While in that role, Rod authored several papers on next-generation target-date methodology and benchmarking target-date funds. He also wrote the lifecycle investing chapter for the Ibbotson SBBI book. Rod has testified before the SEC and DOL on target-date funds, has spoken at several DC industry conferences and has been quoted widely in the media on various retirement investing issues.

Before joining Morningstar, Rod was an investment banker with Deutsche Bank Securities focused on repairing and optimizing corporate capital structures through a wide range of equity, equity-linked and fixed income transactions.

Dorann Cafaro

Dorann is the founding partner of Cafaro Greenleaf, started in 1981. She also is among the founders of National Retirement Partners, a leading national network of independent retirement experts. PLANSPONSOR magazine recently named Dorann their Retirement Advisor of the Year. She was named by 401k Wire as one of the 50 most influential people in the 401k retirement industry, and is a frequent and keynote speaker on the retirement industry at national conferences and seminars.

Cafaro Greenleaf provides retirement consulting services to retirement plan sponsors and their participants. They focus exclusively on design and implementation of retirement plans, providing the identification and monitoring of investment programs tailored to meet plan sponsor's needs. Cafaro Greenleaf is focused on addressing liabilities, minimizing costs and reducing the burden on the benefit providers. In addition, they deliver in-person education around the country.

Dorann has been a Regional Director of Retirement Services for Prudential Investments, a Corporate V.P. and National Director of Retirement Planning for PaineWebber, and a Senior Vice President of Marketing for a leading money management firm. She holds a B.S. from Marquette University in mathematics, and is Series 7, 8, 63, 65 and Health and Life licensed. Dorann frequently lectures at national conferences on retirement planning and has provided retirement education and consulting services for Fortune 500 companies. Dorann, with over 28 years in the financial industry, is recognized for her unique, unbiased consulting advice.

Founding Member Testimonial:

Cafaro Greenleaf believes it is critical to shift the focus from retirement savings - to income replacement, whereby we protect the base while guarding against inflation, meet the challenge of longevity, and provide plan sponsors with the ability to meet this need within their plans.

Steve Vernon, F.S.A.

Steve Vernon, F.S.A., is President of Rest-of-Life Communications, and a Research Scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. In both roles, he speaks, writes, and conducts research on the most challenging aspects of retirement, including finances, health and lifestyle. For more than 30 years, he consulted at Watson Wyatt and Mercer, helping Fortune 1000 employers design, manage and communicate their retirement programs.

Steve currently writes a regular column on retirement for CBS MoneyWatch. His books include:

  • Money for Life: Turn Your IRA and 401(k) Into a Lifetime Retirement Paycheck
  • Recession-Proof Your Retirement Years: Simple Retirement Planning Strategies That Work Through Thick or Thin
  • The Quest: For Long Life, Health and Prosperity (a DVD/workbook package)
  • Live Long & Prosper! Invest in Your Happiness, Health and Wealth for Retirement and Beyond
  • Don't Work Forever! Simple Steps Baby Boomers Must Take To Ever Retire

Recent articles include:

  • The Next Evolution in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: A Guide for DC Plan Sponsors to Implementing Retirement Income Programs, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • Foundations in Research for Regulatory Guidelines for the Design & Operation of Retirement Income Solutions in DC Plans, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • Retirement Income in DC Plans: The Next Evolution in Plan Design, Benefits Magazine
  • The Role of Annuities in Retirement, Journal of Retirement

He also serves as a member of the Institutional Retirement Income Council (IRIC). He is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Jeff Eng

Jeff Eng

Mr. Eng is responsible for client education and advice on institutional retirement income solutions and alternatives. He joined Russell in 2011 from AllianceBernstein, where over a 10-year career was most recently responsible for product development and strategic relationship management for Secure Retirement Strategies, AllianceBernstein's multi-manager, multi-insurer guaranteed income solution.

Prior to joining AllianceBernstein, Mr. Eng was a principal consultant at Context Integration, a web consulting firm, where he had client and project management responsibilities. Prior to Context Integration, he was a project manager and business analyst supporting JP Morgan's Credit Derivatives trading desk.

He worked for Arthur Andersen's Business Consulting group as a system's consultant after graduating from Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He holds FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses, is a certified Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and is a CFA Level III candidate.

Clark G. Frese CPC, AIFA

Clark Frese is the founding member and principal of Asset Strategy Retirement Plan Consultants (ASRPC), a SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm focused on retirement plan consulting. In addition to the work at ASRPC, he is also a senior consultant at Asset Strategy Consultants LLC. Clark is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary Auditor from the Center for Fiduciary Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Clark is a Certified Pension Consultant from the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries and a Chartered Life Underwriter from the American College. Clark has worked with investment monitoring and managing fiduciary responsibility for qualified plans for over 25 years.

John A. Pickett

John joined CAPTRUST Financial Advisors spring of 2010 opening the company's first Texas office in Dallas. He joins CAPTRUST following a successful career with RBC Wealth Management's Institutional Consulting Group. At RBC, Pickett created a revered advisory practice, representing $8.5 billion in assets under management, with many of his client relationships spanning 25 years or more. Highly regarded as the consummate educator, Pickett is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and educational symposiums, including TEXPERS, the Investment Management Institute, and Institutional Investors. John graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Baylor University. He completed his Investment Manager Analysis Certification (CIMA) after attending courses at The Wharton School.


Michael has over three decades of financial consulting and private industry experience, bringing his clients a special blend of understanding problems and implementing solutions. He started his career with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, Certified Public Accountants, and obtained his Certified Public Accountant certificate in 1976. Thereafter, for nine years, he worked as a Controller and Chief Financial Officer.

Changing his career direction, Michael has now spent another twenty three years as a Financial Advisor. During this time, he obtained his Certified Life Underwriter (CLU), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) professional designations and has registered his company, Preisz Associates, Inc., as an Independent Investment Advisor. His areas of focus follow:

  • Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Estate Planning
  • Non-Qualified Executive Compensation Plans
  • Charitable Gifting
  • Business Succession Planning

Michael Preisz focuses exclusively on qualified retirement plans and business and estate life insurance. He does not maintain a book of individual investment clients.

Matthew Radgowski

Matthew Radgowski, a vice president with Wilshire Associates, is a member of Wilshire Funds Management's team. Matthew brings more than thirteen years of experience in the financial services industry with previous responsibilities for financial product management, development, and sales. He is responsible for the product management, marketing and sales within the business unit.

Matthew joined the firm in 2006. He earned his BS in Accountancy from the University of Illinois.

Chris Raham

Chris Raham

Chris Raham is a Senior Actuarial Advisor in the Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young and is based in the firm's New York office. He has more than fourteen years of experience serving the financial services industry. Prior to joining Ernst & Young he served as a consulting actuary in a major actuarial consulting firm and as a member of the pricing and valuation area in a large life insurance company.

As leader of the firm's Retirement Income practice, Chris is responsible for the delivery of the firm's actuarial services aimed at institutions seeking a competitive advantage in the retirement distribution market place. Primary services include risk assessments of retirement planning tools, product allocation optimization, product development and selection, third-party independent whitepaper analysis, value demonstrations and planning tool development.

A frequent contributor in both mainstream and industry publications, Chris has recently appeared in SmartMoney, Best's Review and National Underwriter.

Recent presentations at industry events include "Recognizing Retirement Risk in Planning Tools" at the 2007 Retirement Income Industry Association meeting and "Meeting the Longevity Challenge" at the 2007 Society of Actuaries Product Development Symposium.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from the University of Calgary in Canada. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, serves as the Vice-Chair for the Actuary of the Future Section Council and is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Marty Schmidt

Marty Schmidt

Martin Schmidt is a Principal with HS2 Solutions. His areas of concentration include retirement plan design, system design, fee benchmarking, and vendor selection. He brings over 25 years experience working with both plan sponsors and providers on benefit related issues.

Martin is a former Principal with Buck Consultants where he managed the Midwest region of their retirement practice. His experience also includes managing 401(k) and defined benefit teams at Hewitt. He also was responsible for developing third party relationships with system providers along with leading the effort at Hewitt to develop the first 401(k) daily trading platform to trade and settle investments from separate managers. Through his knowledge and experience in the industry he has developed effective solutions for both plan sponsors and providers.

Martin holds a CPA certificate and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has graduate degree in finance from Loyola University of Chicago and an accounting degree from Northern Illinois University.

Founding Member Testimonial:

My interest in IRIC is understanding and being part of the next phase in the evolution of DC plans. My background in product and plan design has helped me better understand the needs of the marketplace and how the Retirement Income products are positioned. As the Retirement Income products continue to evolve I am able to participate in raising awareness of the products and provide input into their overall design. This knowledge provides valuable guidance when working with Plan Sponsors in assessing the products and helps in raising the awareness of retirement income security in the marketplace.

Martha L. Tejera

Martha L. Tejera

Martha L. Tejera is the head of Tejera & Associates, a fee-for service firm that focuses on helping employers meet their fiduciary responsibility in the selection and benchmarking of their retirement plan providers. Martha has consulted with industry leaders for over 25 years. Her knowledge and experience in the industry allow her to help plan sponsors select a provider and build a long term, successful partnership with that vendor.

Martha works with a variety of individuals and team structures, including HR, finance, retirement plan committees, independent investment consultants, and outside ERISA counsel. This focus on administration allows for a comprehensive assessment of vendor suitability.

A former Principal with Mercer, Martha specialized in helping plan sponsors develop processes to improve their fiduciary oversight, manage vendor service levels and fees, and improve the overall value provided by their defined contribution retirement plans, while simultaneously managing costs. Martha's experience also includes managing defined contribution recordkeeping teams for Mercer, Watson Wyatt, and in-house for Weyerhaeuser.

Martha is an Enrolled Actuary under ERISA and a past Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She is an honors graduate of the University of Washington in economics.

Founding Member Testimonial:

My interest in IRIC is both personal and professional. My actuarial background and extensive consulting experience with 401(k) and other savings plans gives me an appreciation for the trade-offs between defined contribution and defined benefit programs. Unfortunately, the experiences of my aging family members have highlighted what is at stake for individuals, their families, and our society, when market and longevity risks are borne by workers who do not have the capacity self-insure.

Through the collaborative efforts of IRIC, I see a way to positively impact the future security of America's workforce.

Fred Reish

Fred Reish is an ERISA attorney whose practice focuses on fiduciary responsibility and plan operational issues. His clients include plan sponsors and fiduciaries, broker-dealers and RIAs, recordkeepers and TPAs and other financial service companies and providers.

He was recognized as one of the 15 "Legends" of the retirement industry by PLANSPONSOR magazine. Fred also received awards for: the 401(k) Industry's Most Influential Person by 401kWire; the Commissioner's Award and the District Director's Award by the IRS; the Eidson Founder's Award by ASPPA; the Institutional Investor and the PLANSPONSOR magazine Lifetime Achievement Awards; and the ASPPA 401(k) Leadership Award.

In addition, he has been recognized in the legal community as a Charter Fellow of the Employee Benefits Counsel of the American Bar Association and as one of "The Best Lawyers in America." He has written 350 articles and four books about retirement plans, including a monthly column on 401(k) fiduciary issues for PLANSPONSOR magazine.

Fred Co-Chaired the IRS Los Angeles Benefits Conference for over 10 years, served as a founding Co-Chair of the ASPPA 401(k) Summit, and has served on the Steering Committee for the DOL National Conference.

Founding Member Testimonial:

My belief is that the 401(k) system will survive and thrive if participants are well served. While much of the focus has been on the need to save and invest properly, we are just now beginning to appreciate the importance . . . and the difficulty . . . of distributing benefits so that they last for a participant's lifetime. I believe that the "success" for 401(k) plans will be measured by lifetime income that provides a comfortable standard of living for workers. IRIC offers a sophisticated and unbiased voice on that issue."

William R. Charyk

Bill Charyk is the managing attorney of Arent Fox. In the past, he served as the department manager of the general business department. Bill's practice in the tax area focuses primarily on two specialty areas-taxation of partnerships and employee benefit/executive compensation tax planning.

Bill is also heavily involved with the tax and compliance aspects of our employee benefits practice. As such, he ultimately supervises the planning and implementation of a wide variety of compensation vehicles, including defined benefit pension plans, Section 401(k) programs, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), and various executive deferred compensation arrangements stock appreciation right plans and phantom stock bonus programs.

Bill served as an adjunct professor of law at The Georgetown University Law Center for over 25 years where he taught a graduate-level course in taxation of partnerships, with special lectures devoted to ERISA plan investor issues. Washingtonian Magazine and the Best Lawyers in America survey have repeatedly recognized Bill for his tax and ERISA expertise.

William earned a bachelor's degree from The Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School, order of the COIF.

Mendel A. Melzer, CFA

Mendel Melzer leads Newport's investment and fiduciary consulting services and serves as President of Newport Group Securities, Inc.—Newport's registered investment advisor and broker/dealer. His team provides investment and fiduciary consulting services to over 400 of Newport's institutional clients. Mendel has 25 years of investment management experience.

He began his career at Prudential Financial, where he held several key leadership positions including Chief Investment Officer of Prudential Investments. In this position, he oversaw the management of portfolios totaling over $180 billion. Mendel subsequently served as Chief Investment Officer of Weiss, Peck and Greer, an alternative asset management firm with over $17 billion under management.

Mendel earned his bachelor's degree (with honors) from the University of Wisconsin and his master's degree (with distinction) from New York University. In addition to the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, he holds Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. His licenses include Series 7, 24, 63 and 65.

Ben Yahr

Ben Yahr

Ben Yahr, FSA, is an Actuarial Advisor in the Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young, and has more than twenty years of experience serving the financial services industry. As a member of the firm's Retirement Income team, Ben is responsible for the delivery of the firm's product and actuarial services aimed at institutions seeking a competitive advantage in the retirement market place. He has experience developing and implementing optimized product allocation models, performing strategic gap assessments of products and services, designing and developing methodologies and tools to support the sales process, and performing value demonstration research.

A frequent contributor in both mainstream and industry publications, Ben has recently appeared in Employee Benefit Adviser and Benefits Pro. He co-authored "Effective Due Diligence for Guaranteed Lifetime Income Options", Benefits Quarterly, Third Quarter 2011, and "Workforce Retirement-Readiness: Five Questions Your Company Must Be Able to Answer", Journal of Compensation and Benefits, November/December 2014. Ben presented on "In-plan guarantees, a fad or reality?" at LIMRA's Retirement Industry Conference in April 2011 and "DC retirement plans: from accumulation to consumption" at the SOA 2011 Annual Meeting.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Ben led the Wealth Management business for a small financial advisory firm that provided consulting services to defined contribution plan sponsors and investment advice to affluent individuals. Ben is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, is a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Bruce Ashton

Bruce Ashton

Bruce Ashton is a partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice Group of the national law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. His practice focuses on all aspects of employee benefits issues, including representing public and private sector plans and their sponsors, negotiating the resolution of plan qualification issues under IRS remedial correction programs, advising and defending fiduciaries on their obligations and liabilities, structuring qualified plans, non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements and health care arrangements, and representing plan service providers (including RIAs, independent record-keepers, third party administrators, broker-dealers and insurance companies) in fulfilling their obligations under ERISA. Combining his employee benefits and transactional expertise, Bruce is also active in the installation and funding of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Bruce served as president of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) for the 2003-2004 term. From 1998 through 2002, he served as the co-chair of ASPPA's Government Affairs Committee and was a member of its board of directors from 1997 to 2007. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Actuaries during 2003-2004, was the president of the Western Pension & Benefits Conference Los Angeles Chapter from 2008-2009, and currently serves as a member of the leadership counsel of the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA). He will serve as president of NTSAA during the 2013-2014 term.

Sandra Pappa

I am a Principal in the Wealth practice of Buck Consultants' Pittsburgh office and have more than 25 years of experience with administration and consulting on defined contribution plans. I spend most of my time working with plan sponsors on plan design and implementation of their retirement programs to meet changing business and workforce needs. I also provide ongoing support with administration and plan operations to establish and maintain best practices within defined contribution programs, non-discrimination testing, compliance reviews, fee benchmark and vendor search assistance.


  • From 1988 through 1998 I worked in recordkeeping and plan administration. This background provides me with a strong understanding of the recordkeeping requirements to help plan sponsors with conversions to new vendors, plan mergers, and compliance reviews.
  • Over the past 10 years, my consulting projects have centered on plan re-design and administration support with mergers and acquisitions, non-discrimination testing and compliance reviews. In addition, I provide consulting support to establish and maintain best practices with administration and operations within defined contribution programs and vendor management.
  • Since I have joined Buck, my engagements include leading a merger of two large 401(k) plans (40,000 participants and 2.5B in assets) from design to implementation of the new 401(k) program, a design project moving from DB/DC to a DC only retirement program for a divestiture/start-up company, developing participant fee disclosure compliance reporting for sponsors with complex plan design, 403(b) vendor search, and compliance reviews for various companies.
  • I provide consulting and technical support on various initiatives with Xerox administration services to help implement required technical changes and/or new plan features – Roth 401(k), 404(a)(5) fee disclosures, etc.


Below is a listing of a few of the clients I have provided consulting support on various projects:

  • AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah
  • BNY Mellon
  • Boston Scientific
  • Heinz
  • Jefferson Regional Medical Center
  • Lincoln Financial
  • WellPoint
  • Xerox

Education & Achievements

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration and Management, La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA

Jean Martone

Jean Martone is a Director, Retirement Plans Consulting Group with Portfolio Evaluations, Inc. (PEI)

Jean's responsibilities include advising, guiding and directing the fiduciaries of retirement plans. She is in charge of providing support to the firm's clients with respect to plan design as well as regulatory and legislative matters. While at PEI, Jean has developed a comprehensive process for evaluating and recommending providers in all market segments based on the clients' specific requirements. Jean also serves as a member of the firm's management committee.

Jean has over twenty five years of experience with employee benefits plans, specializing in all aspects of defined contribution plans. She has a diverse background that includes benefits consulting as well as corporate benefits administration.

Prior to joining PEI, Jean held a variety of roles including running her own boutique consulting firm, serving as Vice President and Manager of Defined Contribution Plans at Shearson Lehman Brothers and various consulting roles at Moyer and Ross and Kwasha Lipton.

Jean holds a B.A. in Economics (with a Concentration in Finance) from Douglass College, Rutgers University.

Bill Dewalt

Adviser | Towers Watson Investment Services, Inc.

Jamie Greenleaf

Adviser | Cafaro Greenleaf

Ross Bremen

Adviser | NEPC, LLC

Past Members
  • Rod W. Bare Adviser | Russell Investments
  • Matthew Radgowski Adviser | Wilshire Associates
  • Chris Raham Founding Member, Adviser | Ernst & Young
  • Dean Armstrong Founding Member | Clearbrook Investment Consulting
  • Dr. Jeffrey Brown Founding Member | University of Illinois
  • John Campbell Founding Member | Benefit Funding Services Group
  • Joshua R. Cohen Founding Member | Russell Investments
  • Quana C. Jew Adviser | Arent Fox LLP
  • Jay Kloepfer Founding Member | Callan Associates, Inc
  • Dan Pawlisch Founding Member | Ennis Knupp
  • Genevieve "Genny" Sedgwick Adviser | Milliman
  • Martha Spano Founding Member | Watson Wyatt
  • Roger Williams Founding Member | Williams Casey
  • Sue Walton Watson Wyatt Investment Consulting
  • John Fenton Founding Member | Towers Watson
  • Mendel A. Melzer Board of Directors | The Newport Group
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